Exercising is tough, but finding earbuds that keep up with you shouldn’t be. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the five best workout earbuds money can buy. We hope these push you through even the most strenuous workout regimen. Whether you’re looking for a pair of affordable buds or the best money can get we hope to have you covered with these picks.

Editor’s note: this list of the best workout earbuds was updated on December 6, 2021, to add the Skullcandy Push Active and Sony WF-C500 to the Notable mentions.

The best workout earbuds is the Jaybird Vista 2

Most athletes are best off with the Jaybird Vista 2, which includes a set of IP68-rated true wireless earphones and an MIL-STD 810G-rated charging case. The Vista 2 is made for athletes of any proclivity and supports important safety features like mono listening.

Jaybird Vista 2

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Jaybird’s signature ear and wing covers keep the earbuds in place, though it doesn’t make for the most comfortable fit. While this isn’t ideal for regular use, it shouldn’t prove to be much of an issue when exercising. After polling Android Authority readers, we found that 61% of voters only listen to music for less than two hours a day anyway. The earphones last for 5 hours, 20 minutes on a single charge and the USB-C case supplies an additional two charge cycles, and can fast charge the earbuds.

This is Jaybird’s first set of active noise cancelling (ANC) earphones, and it shows. The ANC performance is better than no noise cancelling at all, but it can’t compete with the likes of Sony or Bose. Sound quality is quite good and closely follows our ideal consumer curve, with amplified bass and treble notes. The great thing about wireless Jaybird earbuds is that you can EQ the sound in the Jaybird MySound app. No matter your needs, the Vista 2 is bound to be a great pick for your workouts.

Athletes should invest in dedicated workout earbuds

Sure, you may already have Bluetooth earbuds, but if they’re not sweat-resistant, I’d caution against using them during vigorous training sessions. Water damage may void the warranty of your everyday earbuds, but getting something that’s explicitly water-resistant protects you from throwing money down the drain each time a non-water resistant pair short-circuits.

An image of the Jaybird Vista earbuds being held in a hand with the open charging case in the background.

Each of the Jaybird Vista’s buttons takes up the entire housing and can be remapped to adjust the volume or access a designated virtual assistant.

Workout earbuds and headphones aren’t just more durable, they’re also specifically designed to be used during vigorous movement. In the case of earphones, this means the fit is made more stable by silicone wing tips, an ear hook design, you name it. Also, onboard controls are formatted so they’re easy to use when exercising: this usually means the buttons are larger, making them easier to operate without looking.

See: How listening to music improves your workout

The listed best workout earbuds have all been tested firsthand by various members of the SoundGuys team, and we can attest to each product’s durability. What’s more, if you’re just the average consumer looking for your next pair of wireless earbuds, any of these are a great option. It’s important to make sure that your earphones are water-resistant: accidents happen. At the very least, an oleophobic coating can go a long way.

The Anker Soundcore Life A1 is great for athletes on a budget

If you’re an exercise enthusiast who has tried a few pairs of true wireless buds, you may be familiar with how poor fit and unreliable connection make them a hard sell over traditional Bluetooth earbuds. The Anker Soundcore Life A1 is an excellent set of true wireless earbuds to take for a spin. With IPX7 certification, the A1 can withstand submersion. No matter how hard you sweat, it’ll hold up without a problem. The A1’s durability and affordability (at around $50) are the main reasons they’re some of the best workout earbuds.

Anker Soundcore Life A1

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In addition to the IPX7 rating, you get several options for ear tips and wing tips, so nearly anybody will be able to find a stable fit. While the Soundcore Life A1 only supports AAC and SBC, its connection strength is excellent. With the A1 you get decent sound quality—fairly bass-heavy—which works for exercise motivation. You also get three EQ presets to fine-tune your experience and onboard controls that function well. Missing from the package is app support, but who’s looking at their phone much while working out anyway?

You may like: The best true wireless workout earbuds

Need something tough? Get the Jabra Elite Active 45e

Jabra has some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market and isn’t slacking in the traditional wireless department either. The Elite Active 45e features Bluetooth 5.0, an IP67 rating, and quick charging capabilities.

Jabra Elite Active 45e

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While it’s not as versatile as some of the other options listed, the ear tips are designed with safety in mind. You’ll never miss what’s going on around you as the ear tips allow for external noise to be heard at all times. If you like to run outside, these are a smart choice. This Bluetooth 5.0 headset includes other features too: you can access your virtual assistant, control playback, and take calls all from the earbud housings. While said housings are bulky, they remain in place due to the hooks protruding from the ear tips.

Related: Jabra Elite 65t vs Jabra Elite 75t

Battery life is on-par for wireless in-ears, clocking in at 9 hours, 1 minute of playback. The headset also supports quick charging: 15 minutes connected to the included microUSB cable grants one hour of playback. A full charge cycle requires two hours, though.

Again, sound quality is lacking, but that’s the sacrifice athletes make for safety. Plus, they still sound better than bone conduction headphones, which have their own niche purpose. If you spend most of your time exercising outside, this is a great deal.

What you should know about the best workout earbuds

Fit matters

best workout earbuds - ear tips in the palm of a woman's hand.

Ear tips make a big difference in regards to the fit of a pair of headphones

A proper fit is key to excellent workout earbuds. Thankfully, most companies provide you with multiple sizes of ear and wingtips for extra security. For some, ear tips like this can be unwieldy and actually undermine a solid seal. This was an issue for me when I used the original Jaybird X, so I chose to forgo the wing tips. If your earbuds are falling out too often or hurting your ears, try altering the sizing or ear tip style.

Learn more: What makes a good pair of in-ears?

Sometimes earbuds aren’t for you you, though. If that’s the case, be sure to read up on our lists of the best workout headphones and best running headphones.

What are IP ratings?

Additionally, a key aspect of the listed best workout earbuds is that they’re, at the very least, sweat-resistant. So here’s a quick rundown of ingress protection (IP) ratings and fit. The X is just a placeholder for a dust resistance rating.

 Water-resistantWaterproofCan withstand
IPX0Not water-resistant
IPX1Dripping water (1 mm/min)
Limit: vertical drips only
IPX2Dripping water (3 mm/min)
Limit: Device max tilt of 15° from drips
Limit: Device max tilt of 60° from sprays
IPX4Splashes, omnidirectional
IPX5Water jets (12.5 L/min)
Example: Squirt guns
IPX6Strong water jets (100 L/min)
Example: Powerful water guns
IPX7Complete submersion
Limit: 1 m. for 30 min
IPX8Complete submersion
Limit: 3 m. for 30 min

Bluetooth codecs

There’s also Bluetooth codec support. If you have no idea what that is, don’t worry we have an entire podcast explaining it. Basically what you need to know is that two devices need to have the same codec in order to transfer information between them. Think of it kind of like a language. If two people speak the same language, information gets passed between them quicker than two people gesturing at each other. The same is true with codecs, and if two devices have the same codec information is passed quicker than two that don’t.

Unfortunately, not all codecs are equal and some are better than others. For example, the AAC codec is best supported by iOS and the aptX codec is best supported by Android. While this isn’t a huge deal for workout earbuds since you probably aren’t going to be doing any critical listening while doing your squats, it’s still something to take note of.

iPhone users, get the Beats Powerbeats Pro

This set of IPX4 earbuds gets a lot of things right and it’s entirely wireless. If you took the Beats Powerbeats and ripped the wires off, you’d get the Powerbeats Pro. Though to be fair, the design is sleeker than its wired counterpart. Inside is the new H1 chip from Apple that makes pairing your iOS device with it just as easy as the Airpods Pro, with a small card popping up prompting you to connect. If you’re on Android you won’t get the cool animation, but pairing is similarly easy thanks to a small button on the inside of the case.

Beats Powerbeats Pro

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The problem with most true wireless earbuds is, of course, battery life. But that isn’t the case here. Whether you’re rocking an iOS device or an Android device we managed to squeeze out around 10 hours, 30 minutes of constant playback before these need to be put back in the case which is no small accomplishment.

Related: AirPods Pro vs Beats Powerbeats Pro

Still, it comes at a price. The charging case that you’ll eventually need to put back into is huge. When you take into account the sweatproof certification, the hook design that keeps these from falling, and the 10+ hour battery life, we have no problem recommending these. They’re that good.

iPhone users who want something more versatile should get the Apple AirPods Pro

Top-down shot of the eartips on a white iPhone X.

The AirPods Pro comes with three different sized ear tips, one of which comes pre-installed on the earbuds.

Apple’s AirPods Pro has been completely redesigned from the AirPods (2019); the Pro model has angled nozzles that seal to the ears. This is imperative for its hero feature: noise cancelling. While the latest AirPods (3rd generation) marks an upgrade over the previous iteration, the fit is not stable enough for workouts.

H1 chip integration permits hands-free Siri access and seamless usage across iOS devices. It also benefits power efficiency, a big reason standalone battery life is just over five hours. Unlike the AirPods (2nd generation), the AirPods Pro includes a wireless charging case by default. Microphone quality is just as good as before, and the IPX4 rating means you can sweat in the AirPods Pro to your heart’s content.

The Bose Sport Earbuds is among the best workout earbuds with excellent sound

Bose takes a second swing at true wireless earphones with its Sport Earbuds, which is much sleeker than the original SoundSport Free earphones. The Sport Earbuds includes StayHear Max ear tips, akin to the secret sauce in your Aunt’s best recipe. The StayHear Max ear and wing tip combo keeps the buds in place during all kinds of vigorous movement, and the IPX4 rating means that you can perform almost any kind of exercise without worry.

Bose Sport Earbuds

Full Review

Sound quality is very good with the Bose Sport Earbuds, which almost makes up for the complete lack of EQ module in the Bose Music app. Instead, Bose uses its Active EQ technology to adjust the volume output of certain frequencies. Generally speaking, the Bose Sport Earbuds modestly amplify bass notes and give a good bump to upper-midrange frequencies. Though some people would prefer a heavier bass boost in workout earbuds, this gentle response is pleasing to almost all consumers, and the earbuds relay audio clearly.

Microphone quality is good too, but not the best we’ve tested. Things have certainly improved since the SoundSport Free, but where the Sport Earbuds’ four-mic system really shines is how it cancels out predictable background noise.

If you want to stay within the Bose ecosystem and are willing to spend some extra cash, get the Bose Sport Earbuds.

The best workout earbuds: Notable mentions

The Beats Fit Pro noise cancelling true wireless earbuds in the open charging case and next to a Samsung Galaxy S10e with the Beats app open. The app has a purple tint to it, presumably to match the earphones.

The Beats app seems to recognize the color of your Fit Pro and matches the background accordingly.

  • Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2: These have an IPX5 rating and excellent isolation. While that does mean you don’t want to wear them if you’re running down city streets, it’s nice for the gym when you want to ignore the music the gym is playing.
  • Anker Soundcore Spirit X2: If you like ear hooks for a secure workout earphone experience these sub-$100 earphones provide excellent battery life and IP68 protection from sweat.
  • Beats Fit Pro: The latest Beats has workouts in mind and plays nice with Android too. Unlike the Powerbeats Pro, it has no hooks and a shorter battery life.
  • Jabra Elite Active 75tWorkout earbuds are a dime a dozen, and the Elite Active 75t is one of the shiniest dimes around. These IP57 earphones are comfortable, durable, and lasts for over seven hours on a single charge.
  • Jabra Elite 3This is Jabra’s most affordable set of truly wireless earphones to date and the company manages to pack in premium features like an IP55 rating and aptX support.
  • Jaybird X4This headset is hard to find these days, but it has an IPX7 rating, secure fit, and tactile control module.
  • Master & Dynamic MW07 Go: The MW07 Go lends great sound quality and 9-hour battery life. It’s also rated IPX6, which means you can work out without worry, but the microphone is a weak spot.
  • Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100: For a pair of true wireless buds that can keep up with getting beat down, check these out which really impressed us.
  • Plantronics BackBeat Pro 5100: You can wear these in the office and quickly transition to the gym without worrying about durability, thanks to the IP54 rating. Integrated sensors facilitate automatic ear detection for auto-play/pause when the earbuds are inserted or removed.
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners who want a good pair of ANC earbuds with plenty of software and hardware features will enjoy this headset. The ANC is better than the more expensive Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, but the Pro model has a more durable IPX7 rating.
  • Skullcandy Push Active: Athletes who want something that fits securely around the back of their ears should look into the reasonably priced Push Active. This is a feature-packed pair of workout earbuds with an impressive IP55 rating.
  • Sony WF-C500This set of earbuds has a standard IPX4 water-resistant build and comes in black or white. With a 10-hour standalone battery life and extra charge from the USB-C case, you’re well equipped to use this for a couple of weeks without the need to recharge it. You can even use the earbuds with Sony 360 Reality Audio for an immersive listening experience.
  • Sony WF-SP800N: This is the sportier little sibling to the WF-1000XM3, built with a durable IP55 rating, active noise cancelling, deep integration with the Sony Headphones Connect app, and long-lasting 9-hour battery life.
  • Under Armour True Wireless FLASH X by JBLThis rugged set of workout earbuds offers a secure fit and water-resistant build with a bass-heavy sound profile.
  • V-MODA Forza Metallo Wireless: This neckband-style pair of wireless headphones is outfitted with a sweat-resistant coating, aptX codec, and maintains a stable connection for long workouts.

How we chose the best workout earbuds

The UA True Wireless FLASH X by JBL on a Google Pixel 3 smartphone, next to the open charging case and a Leatherman Wave+ on a white surface.

The FLASH X offers incremental improvements over the original JBL UA FLASH.

We’ve reviewed our share of products at SoundGuys before deciding on the best workout earbuds. Doing so makes it easier to determine what the best workout earbuds available are. However, we aren’t superhuman and admittedly haven’t reviewed every product out there, but we have done our research and all top five products and notable mentions.

For this list, I was able to test our curated selection of models. I also used these casually around the house, in the office, and generally while out and about. When testing earbuds for workout purposes, I do a bit of cardio, mainly biking and running paired with weight-lifting and calisthenics. All the products listed were able to withstand my workouts.

How we tested the best workout earbuds

We subjected the best workout earbuds nominees to our objective testing which includes isolation, battery life, and frequency response. You can read all about it here, but the truncated version is as follows.

  • Each product was subjected to multiple sine sweeps through the headphones, and we recorded the frequency response once we were able to repeat a result that demonstrates the hallmarks of a good seal.
  • For battery testing, we used a real-time analyzer to calibrate the necessary setting for a 75dB(SPL). We then played infinitely looped music until the battery ran out. This lets us compare each product’s readout to the others.
  • With the isolation tests, we used pink noise at 90dB(SPL) and set the speaker one meter away from the headphones. We first recorded with the headphones off and then with the headphones on. From there, we just subtract one from the other to get the isolation.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

We’re all fully committed to SoundGuys and working here is each of our nine-to-five jobs. Collectively, we have multiple years of reviewing audio products under our belts and are able to keep pace with the ever-changing world of audio. That way, we can easily separate the diamonds in the rough from, well, the rough.

A photo of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds, a contender for the best workout earbuds, being worn and used by a woman in profile view.

We try and get as much hands-on experience with a product before recommending it to our readers.

At the end of the day, we want you to enjoy what you listen to, which means we want you to enjoy what you’re listening through. None of us see a dime from partnership deals or referral purchases, and we absolutely don’t benefit from swaying to one product or another. If you’re interested in learning more about our ethics policy, click here.

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